Mileage fraud: €12,000 recovered in one year thanks to Carfleet

Fabrice Valle Moro, head of services for 3 of the famous Fench Hypermarket chain Leclerc stores, chose Carfleet to fight against mileage fraud in his fleet of vehicles, a scam that is becoming extremely worrying.

He talks about his decision process to use Echoes solutions and the results he obtained so far.

Echoes: Can you tell us about your company and its activities?

Fabrice Valle Moro: I’m Head of Services for 3 Leclerc stores in Dordogne (South West of France). My responsibilities include vehicle rental and service stations management. Our 3 branches operate 297 vehicles, including 62 vans. They handle a total of around 2,000 light vehicles rental  every year, and 2,000 for commercial vehicles. Our customers include several long-term renters, who visit the branch every month to renew their contracts.

Echoes: How did you become aware of mileage fraud?

FVM: When I took up my job 2 years ago, I had already heard aboutodometer blocking techniques. I quickly began to have suspicions about certain drivers. These suspicions were confirmed when a long-term lessee declared only 50 kilometers per month, which struck me as suspicious. When he came to renew his contract, I asked to see the odometer which turned out to be inoperative. The customer claimed that it was a ‘bug’. Wanting to find out for sure, I took the vehicle to the car dealership, who found out that the customer had simply ripped out several cables in the engine bay to disable the odometer. The driver had driven more than 14,000 km, compared with only 2,500 declared. At €0.17 per km, the loss of earnings was therefore almost €2,000!

Echoes: Why choose a remote monitoring solution?

FVM: we compared different solutions but most players on the market offer on-board hardwares. They need to be installed and then uninstalled when the vehicle is returned, in addition to regular maintenance. CarFleet was the only solution without a box, and it also offered real-time geolocation, making it easy to detect any suspicious vehicles.

Echoes: What has changed for you since CarFleet was set up? 

FVM: Since we’ve been using CarFleet, if I have the slightest doubt about a car mileage, I can double check it in the app. CarFleet makes it very easy for me to compare, directly in the tool, the mileage displayed by the odometer and the mileage driven according to the GPS coordinates. When an anomaly is detected, I wait for the customer to return the vehicle before presenting him with a fait accompli. We then offer to apply the penalties set out in our general terms and conditions of sale, i.e. a fixed charge of 500km per day of hire. The alternative is to send the case to the police. However, in all the cases recorded so far, the offenders have not denied the offence and have agreed to pay rather than having to deal with justice. 

Echoes: How many frauds have been detected since then?

FVM: On average, I detect one fraud every two months. The most recent one was just in mid-February: I estimated the fraud at 21,000km, and the customer agreed to pay €4,800 in penalties without batting an eyelid! The previous case involved 25,000km. I recovered more than €12,000 in one year. The CarFleet tool easily paid off for itself! But my entire fleet of light vehicles is not yet connected, so I can’t rule out the possibility that the scale of the fraud could be even greater.

Echoes:  What techniques do fraudsters use to manipulate the odometer?

FVM: It’s not always easy to find out. Various techniques exist, including manipulations in the engine bay, or hacking devices that can be purchased… One thing is certain: most of the customers we’ve caught admitted that a third party carried out the manipulation.

Echoes: Do you have any other uses for Carleet?

FVM : CarFleet can be useful for locating a vehicle in the event of theft. Fortunately, we haven’t had any stolen cars in the last year. Before we put in place the Echoes solution, I had 3 stolen vehicles. We recovered only 2 of them.  In addition, the tracking of maintenance deadlines and mechanical alerts can be useful for customers who lease for long periods, saving us from having to check the dashboard ourselves at each monthly contract renewal.

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